An ancient Chinese proverb says that “an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break.”
LWB’s newest cardiac initiative has begun this week in Guatemala with our very first baby who is in urgent need of heart surgery.
The red threads of this story began several months ago when we were introduced to an amazing group of pediatric cardiologists who have created a state-of-the-art cardiac center at the UNICAR hospital in Guatemala City. Recently, our team was able to tour the facility in hopes of learning more.
Early one morning, we pulled through the metal gate at the entrance to UNICAR and soon after began the hospital tour. Modern patient rooms, a nutrition consultation room, and rooms for echocardiograms were our first stops. Meanwhile, parents and their children were waiting patiently in the lobby.
This hospital has gained great respect for its quality of care and has become the premier center for pediatric heart surgery in all of Latin America.
While riding the elevator to the second floor, we saw the PICU and met a precious baby boy who was just two days old. After his birth in a rural village, doctors discovered that he had a very serious heart defect. While this baby’s mother stayed at the village hospital, he was rushed by ambulance to UNICAR for a full cardiac evaluation.
Sadly, this precious baby’s heart was too fragile to receive surgery, but this little one led us to meet Dr. Mack, the head of the Pediatric Cardiac ICU at UNICAR. Dr. Mack told us about another baby in urgent need of heart surgery: Baby Diana.
Diana is just two weeks away from her first birthday. She lives with her parents and older sister in western Guatemala and was born with a large VSD heart defect that needs to be closed soon before she becomes inoperable due to hypertension.
Her mom is a stay-at-home mom, and her dad is a bus helper. They have tried to raise funds to cover their daughter’s surgery on their own, but the amount needed is insurmountable. They are committed to doing all they can for their child and have used the $100 they raised to buy special formula to help their fragile little girl gain weight.
Baby Diana has been in the hospital battling pneumonia, but we just heard the good news that she has recovered and will be going home this weekend.
So the red thread continues, from the very first child that LWB sponsored for heart surgery in China almost 20 years ago all the way to baby Diana, our very first cardiac case in Guatemala. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Diana and other children with cardiac needs as our medical program expands to this new country.
If you would like to stand with Baby Diana and her family, please consider a gift in any amount to help her get her much-needed surgery.
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